The Student Room Group

I physically can't do presentations

I'm at university in my second year, and last year was pretty easy so just got through everything fine but this year it is SO much more work and stress.

I have told my university I have social anxiety, general anxiety, and ASD and it says on my file that I don't have to do presentations. The first presentation assessment we had to do this year was a group one and my teachers on that module let me skip it and just talk infront of them.

Another one of my modules we have so many public speaking tasks and assessments and my lecturer is one of those people who thinks "everyone gets nervous". She told me to "try to get over" my ASD and just "push myself to do it". We are also doing group work and I didn't get to choose my group and I have been put with the nastiest girls alive, who I tried to joke with about how I don't do presentations or public speaking so I'll do all the written work if I have to, and they brushed it off and have VOLUNTEERED our group to do a presentation infront of people I've never met.


I am FULLY aware practice makes perfect and I should just make myself do it but every time I think about doing a presentation I start panicking and either feel super nauseous or throw up. I've told them I'm not doing it and they just say I can stand there and say nothing, but then that's bad for me as well because then I start feeling panicky about how I am going to be standing there awkward and will throw up.

Idk why I'm posting this tbh because I have been to therapy about 10 times and it obviously doesn't work on me, my GP does not want to give me medication because it will 'slow my heart' like do I care at this point I'd rather d*e than do a presentation.

It's just not getting into people's heads that I am literally not able to do a presentation. It's making me want to drop out of uni and it's making me feel so depressed and sad and it's so stupid I know. All I can do is 'get help' but I've tried that so many times and nothing works on me.
Nope what you need to go do right now is go see your disability team.
If your university have said that you don't have to do presentations, your professor does not get to decide that doesn't apply for their course just because they're ignorant about the impact that anxiety and ASD have.

The fact that you are this upset about doing it is exactly why your professor doesn't get to decide. Your tutor, your disability contact, a student services representative, anyone that is meant to support you, you need to contact to inform them of this situation. This is not supposed to happen.

And while presenting is a useful skill, throwing yourself in the deep end is not the way to do it. It just causes more anxiety and makes it even worse. Working your way up is a good way to do it, and you've already started that by giving presentations to just the teachers. You're doing great.

Anyway, your professor is wrong, and this is almost certainly against your uni's policies. Go find someone in charge of that to get them to tell the professor for you. If you have more questions or run into roadblocks let me know.
Reply 2
I completely agree with Fibonacci. What your lecturer is telling you is totally inappropriate. I am so sorry that you are feeling like you are. I would echo what has been said, I would send an email asap to your personal tutor (assuming you have one) giving a simple outline of the situation, reminding them that your diagnoses are in your file, and asking them to intervene on your behalf. Cc the disability team in if you can, and also email and phone the disability team directly.

Please do not feel stupid. It must be so frustrating that you are having to advocate for yourself in this way. Please do let us know how you get on and if you need more support.
Also if it graded the work that your doing and they are making you do in whilst in the process of sorting it out with the disability support you could do an extenutaing circumtances form and add your file so that the presentation etc wouldn't count towards your final grade
(I'm also autistic) Hope this helps
Speak to disability support/services.
Reply 5
Yes, this a gross overstep by the lecturer and is probably in breach of several regulations.
Reply 6
Original post by Anonymous #1
I'm at university in my second year, and last year was pretty easy so just got through everything fine but this year it is SO much more work and stress.

I have told my university I have social anxiety, general anxiety, and ASD and it says on my file that I don't have to do presentations. The first presentation assessment we had to do this year was a group one and my teachers on that module let me skip it and just talk infront of them.

Another one of my modules we have so many public speaking tasks and assessments and my lecturer is one of those people who thinks "everyone gets nervous". She told me to "try to get over" my ASD and just "push myself to do it". We are also doing group work and I didn't get to choose my group and I have been put with the nastiest girls alive, who I tried to joke with about how I don't do presentations or public speaking so I'll do all the written work if I have to, and they brushed it off and have VOLUNTEERED our group to do a presentation infront of people I've never met.


I am FULLY aware practice makes perfect and I should just make myself do it but every time I think about doing a presentation I start panicking and either feel super nauseous or throw up. I've told them I'm not doing it and they just say I can stand there and say nothing, but then that's bad for me as well because then I start feeling panicky about how I am going to be standing there awkward and will throw up.

Idk why I'm posting this tbh because I have been to therapy about 10 times and it obviously doesn't work on me, my GP does not want to give me medication because it will 'slow my heart' like do I care at this point I'd rather d*e than do a presentation.

It's just not getting into people's heads that I am literally not able to do a presentation. It's making me want to drop out of uni and it's making me feel so depressed and sad and it's so stupid I know. All I can do is 'get help' but I've tried that so many times and nothing works on me.

Sue the lecturer and go to the papers.
Original post by Anonymous #1
I'm at university in my second year, and last year was pretty easy so just got through everything fine but this year it is SO much more work and stress.

I have told my university I have social anxiety, general anxiety, and ASD and it says on my file that I don't have to do presentations. The first presentation assessment we had to do this year was a group one and my teachers on that module let me skip it and just talk infront of them.

Another one of my modules we have so many public speaking tasks and assessments and my lecturer is one of those people who thinks "everyone gets nervous". She told me to "try to get over" my ASD and just "push myself to do it". We are also doing group work and I didn't get to choose my group and I have been put with the nastiest girls alive, who I tried to joke with about how I don't do presentations or public speaking so I'll do all the written work if I have to, and they brushed it off and have VOLUNTEERED our group to do a presentation infront of people I've never met.


I am FULLY aware practice makes perfect and I should just make myself do it but every time I think about doing a presentation I start panicking and either feel super nauseous or throw up. I've told them I'm not doing it and they just say I can stand there and say nothing, but then that's bad for me as well because then I start feeling panicky about how I am going to be standing there awkward and will throw up.

Idk why I'm posting this tbh because I have been to therapy about 10 times and it obviously doesn't work on me, my GP does not want to give me medication because it will 'slow my heart' like do I care at this point I'd rather d*e than do a presentation.

It's just not getting into people's heads that I am literally not able to do a presentation. It's making me want to drop out of uni and it's making me feel so depressed and sad and it's so stupid I know. All I can do is 'get help' but I've tried that so many times and nothing works on me.

Hey there!

So sorry this has happened to you, it's not the best situation to be in. Obviously the best thing to do in this situation is go to your academic support team of lecturer and explain the situation. Hopefully they'll be able to give you some good advice about what your best next steps are. If they're not much help, which I doubt as they're there to help and support you, can you try suggesting to the group that you sit and skip the slides on the presentation? It might take some of those anxious feelings away if you're sat down and focused on a screen rather than watching your peers. It might be a good way to keep your group happy as well.

Hope this helped!
Lucy - Digital Student Ambassador SHU
If you have been formally diagnosed and are in receipt of DSA and have had your needs assessment with the accessibility department at your uni and have an agreed reasonable adjustments of alternate assignments in place of presentations then yes, this is not acceptable and you need to refer them to the fact you have these reasonable adjustments and reach out to the accessibility centre for support.

If you haven't actually applied for DSA, had your needs assessment and otherwise engaged with the accessibility centre- do this ASAP. This is what formalised the process to ensure that it is documented these are your adjustments and what the uni has agreed to with you. Without that it's going to be more complicated to enforce this throughout your course I imagine!
Reply 9
Hi everyone thanks for the responses. I called the disability team at my university and told them I want it basically highlighted on my file that I don't do presentations and the person I was on the phone with said he would write it down on my file by Monday and I'll get emails but I haven't heard anything..... I might email/call again and ask but I think I've chosen a uni that's not great with helping students tbh... :/

I think I might be able to get out of the pres my team have volunteered to do and if they hate me they hate me if they tell our lecturer I'm not contributing I'll just try and fight my ground....

It's also just so annoying because I know the whole point of uni is to talk and discuss stuff in class, but I obvs also have an issue with speaking in class. I know I can't say to all my teachers to not pick on me in class because then all my classmates would notice but I wish they would just ignore me. Very rarely I can answer a question but I feel my throat close up and I start choking on my words if I have to speak more than a sentence.

But I have a teacher I do not like solely based on the fact she wants us all to talk so much in seminars. She's from America and I'm assuming they're more confident on the whole over there but she planned a seminar last week where we had to all choose a business and talk about it for like 5 mins (not a presentation just like normal talking in class) and I had to skip the class because I felt so nervous. I know I can't really get around that because it would be blatantly obvious if teachers go round asking everyone to speak and they just skip me all the time, but I highly doubt the students in my class would care that much.

Just wish I was normal :biggrin:
Reply 10
I'm sorry you are going through all this.
I also know that my advice won't help much, but I may have something for you but I must ask you before, would you feel better (easier) if everyone in class knew your situation?

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